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AFP
September 16, 2018
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Moeen says he was called ‘Osama’ by Aussie player

Sports

AFP
September 16, 2018

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LONDON: England all-rounder Moeen Ali has said he was called “Osama” by an Australia player during the 2015 Ashes series. Ali’s allegation was made in his autobiography, an extract of which was published in Saturday’s edition of The Times newspaper.

Cricket Australia has announced it is launching an investigation, saying the comment was “unacceptable”. Moeen, a practising Muslim, said he was on the receiving end of the slur, a reference to terror leader Osama bin Laden, from an unnamed opponent during his Ashes debut against Australia in Cardiff three years ago — a match where he scored 77 runs in the first innings and took five wickets.

“It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance, however there was one incident which had distracted me,” wrote Moeen.

“An Australian player turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama’. I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field,” added the 31-year-old Worcestershire left-handed batsman and off-spinner. A Cricket Australia spokesperson, quoted on the governing body’s website, said in response to Moeen’s allegation: “Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and have no place in our sport, or in society. “We have a clear set of values and behaviours that comes with representing our country.

The ECB said it would not comment on the incident at this stage. Moeen said the Australia player in question had denied making the comments to him at the time. “I must say I was amused when I heard that for there is a world of difference between the words ‘Osama’ and ‘part-timer’. “Although I couldn’t have mistaken ‘part-timer’ for ‘Osama’, obviously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry,” he explained.

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